We've seen a lot of innovation over the last few months and there are some great new foodie experiences popping up in Rotorua.
A taste of culturePātaka Kai Restaurant at Te Puia is offering a new grazing dinner menu on Friday and Saturday evenings. They offer a contemporary fusion with Māori flavours and traditional cooking methods, served alongside beautiful views of the geothermal valley and Pōhutu Geyser. Pātaka Kai is also open for lunch daily and Sunday brunch.
Mitai Māori Village now offers hāngī via a click-and-collect drive-through and from their new Earth Oven food truck. Options include classic hāngī, vegan and Paleo options, and seafood chowder.
You’ll see the Earth Oven at the Redwoods i-SITE Visitor Information Centre on Longmile Road, and popping up at events near you!
Can you get more kiwi than a hāngī pie? The Geyser Café at Whakarewarewa Living Māori Village has been serving up this culinary delight for years! The village itself is not currently open for visitors, but the Geyser Café is open 10am to 2pm, Wednesday to Sunday, to satisfy your hāngī pie cravings!
Keeping it local
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of community. The old-fashioned general store has made a comeback, with many more people looking to support local businesses focussed on environmental sustainability, New Zealand made products and locally sourced food and drink.
Okere Falls Store has been thriving at the centre of the Okere Falls community for years, so what’s new, you ask? Burgers! Every Thursday, Burger Night features a choice of two newly created burgers with some pretty imaginative ingredients and great names!
Waimangu Volcanic Valley has recently opened Waimangu Local Store & Café, a sunny, cosy spot overlooking the incredible valley created when Mount Tarawera erupted in 1886. Focusing on supporting local as much as possible, the store and café are stocked with Kiwi-made products including a range of specialty food and drinks, gifts and clothing made in Rotorua and around New Zealand.
If you can’t stay and tour the valley, that’s ok! Waimangu Local Store is the perfect place to meet up with friends for a coffee and brunch or a couple adult bevvies and lunch. You can also pick up a treat for yourself, a gift for friends and family, or a little piece of New Zealand to take or send overseas.
If you’re in town and looking for something a bit special, how about brunch or dinner overlooking beautiful Lake Rotorua? Peppers on the Point is a former 1930s lakeside mansion with a distinct charm and design. Now a boutique lodge, it provides a tranquil setting with amazing views and sunsets. Peppers has recently opened The Mains, offering a brand new a la carte dinner menu featuring fabulous locally sourced cuisine and fine wines fresh from the cellar. They’re also open for brunch on the weekends. Be sure to book ahead.
Matai Restaurant is a new intimate fine dining restaurant in the heart of Rotorua, located at Regal Palms Resort on Fenton Street. Fuelled by the passion of head chef Ryan Gregorash, each dish his team designs is connected to the land and tells a uniquely New Zealand story – seasonal, flavoursome and wildly simplistic, with a focus on ethically and locally sourced ingredients, often foraged close to home.